Saturday, February 7, 2009

All hot and bothered

The papers are talking about it, it's usually the first thing talked about when people see each other, and it's generally on everyone's mind during the day. It's hot. The newspaper headlines scream heatwave. "How are you?" you ask; "I'm hot," is a common reply. Public transport is an un-fun experience at the best of times, let alone times when everyone around is perspiring, to put politely, like hell. This is summer for certain.

On the food front it can be a bit of a shame as wiping sweat and constantly fanning oneself serves as quite a distraction from eating. In fact, I find my appetite rather supressed by the heat and I'll just be happy to have an ice cold drink. Which is probably why I wasn't too fussed with lunch yesterday. Which is probably why I felt a little woozy after being relieved of 470mL of blood. It all makes sense now.

Just quickly on that, they test your haemoglobin levels before you're permitted to donate blood. A finger prick test produces a drop of blood which goes into a sometimes accurate machine reader and determines whether your haemoglobin levels are high enough (120g per litre is the cut off). My nurse tells me that consumption of red meats and other iron-rich foods in the weeks leading up to testing can affect haemoglobin levels, so my cramming of beef tataki, beef sausages and a vaguely beef steak pie in the days leading up to Friday were probably of minimal benefit.

And that's the thing, although I'm a happy and proud carnivore sometimes I'll end up having a vegetarian day without knowing it. Toast and cereal for breakfast, a salad for lunch, pasta for dinner and before you know it, I'm a real life, living Lisa Simpson.

Anyway, the test on my left middle finger reveals a level of 117. That's a fail. The test on the right middle finger says 123. I'm confused, but I pass. Considering that I am right-handed and the right hand is more active than the left, might that explain the varying red blood cell count?

To more palatable topics that don't turn legs to jelly, a companion and I tried in vain to escape the heat and retreated to the open balcony of Well Connected Cafe yet again. I need nourishment and I need something cold.

Raspberry and mango frappe from Well Connected Cafe, Glebe

Suitably red and gooey (sorry, must stop thinking about blood), my frappe is just the treat although it has already started its melting process before even meeting me. I quite like that they add in a couple of ice cubes to keep the substantially-sized drink cold. It's not too sweet and full of blended raspberry flavour and seeds. I do, however, think it a more appropriate hot weather drink than a milkshake - just something about heat and dairy doesn't go down well with me, but it's not my drink so I shan't complain.

Double chocolate milkshake

It doesn't look super airy nor thick and is enjoyed all the way down to the slurped bottom where it seems some chocolate powder resides. We've been a bit cheeky and brought in what my friend insists is the best Turkish pide around from a store just across on Glebe Point Road. I have to admit it's pretty darn good and not at all like the very bready versions available at a lot of kebab shops. I promise a crispy, filling-dominant pide-specific visit another time. I like to have a few vegies on the side with meals so I order the chickpea salad - which simply sounds more interesting than the canivorous salad options.

Chickpea salad

Baby spinach leaves and cucumber slices take the frontline with chickpeas, diced and chunks of tomato and Spanish onion playing about in the background. The dressing is somewhat nondescript: a pale orange colour, creamy, a little sweet, a tiny bit tart, perhaps a touch overwhelming for the spinach but ideal with the chickpeas.

As the afternoon sun continues to threaten shade on the balcony, we retreat to indoors post-meal where it isn't much cooler but if it were I may have fallen asleep on that sofa and missed dinner. Now to look forward to and seek refuge for the heatwave weekend.

Well Connected Cafe on Urbanspoon

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